A great 2012 New Year’s resolution DELIVERED to Open Door!

Day to day you see a lot of useless stuff come across social media feeds. If you Like the Open Door Facebook page, you saw this uplifting post come across your screen. This is the  power of one at its best. Setting a goal and accomplishing it for the greater good of the local community! Pure awesomeness!

Roger Corbin set a goal to donate 20 pounds a week to The Open Door and used bottle returns and extreme couponing to hit his goal. Congrats to everyone around who benefits from this truly amazing act of kindness.


Pure Joy at the Middle Street Walk!

I know today there were 35 separate events and each one was amazing. Anyone involved today should give themselves a huge pat on the back for the pure joy they brought to young and old. We hit the Buoy painting, Cape Ann Big Band and then the Cape Ann Animal Shelter open house. That’s a nice little Saturday right there! The bouy painting is such a unique treasure and can’t wait for the auction.

Picture 005Picture 001Picture 004Picture 006Picture 007

Are you a Fast Chick? A Must Do Event for All Women on the North Shore!

When it comes to powerful organizations on the North Shore, the Mother’s clubs rank first over all other organizations, including state and local government! My wife is the co-president of this organization and they are pulling out all the stops to make this the must run event of the year. It is going to be a tremendous event and is open to all women. They even have a “rooster” contest to allow a single male runner that I am saying must run in a rooster costume.  Sign up by April 5th to ensure you get the awesome t-shirt. If you are interested in sponsoring this event, please contact fastchicks5k@gmail.com

Date: Saturday, May 5, 2012, rain or shine
Location: Patton Park in Hamilton. Park at the Winthrop School
Fee: $25
Start Time: 8 a.m. day-of registration, 9:15 a.m. start

To Register: Visit http://www.fastchicks5k.org/ to download a registration form for Fast Chicks 5K run/walk or sign-up online. Race Packets can be picked up at North Beverly’s New England Running Company on Friday, May 4th, 2012. While there, race participants can join a raffle to win a free pair of running shoes.

Here is more about the event:

On Saturday, May 5th, 2012, the Hamilton-Wenham Mother’s Club (HWMC) will host the First Annual Fast Chicks 5K. The Fast Chicks 5k is a women’s-only race/walk designed to celebrate active women everywhere. This year all monies raised will support the Patton Park Playground Fund; a three-phase project already underway by Friends of Patton Park with a $100,000 fundraising goal to update and redesign the playground.

“The Fast Chicks 5K is more than just a road race,” says Martha Farrell, a Mother’s Club member and chair of fundraising committee. “It’s a call to action to celebrate the active rolls we women take as community leaders. To contribute to women’s interest charities and to empower each other, our mothers, our friends, and our daughters to lead, not follow. And it’s also one heck of a way to have fun!”

The nearly century old club has a long-held tradition of supporting women in the Hamilton-Wenham community and around the North Shore. The HWMC plans to make this an annual event, raising money for a new cause each year.  As mentioned above, this year all monies raised will support the Friends of Patton Park create a new playground for the town.

“We are thrilled the Mother’s Club wants to help our project,” says Emily Sumner, co-chair of the Friends of Patton Park. “Patton Park is a luxury for our town and we want to improve upon what is already there. It’s a wonderful and safe place for children and families to gather and play, but we see improvements that are necessary to keep this Park an asset to the town for years to come.”

Mother’s Club Co-President Jeannine Ryan is excited for this new fundraiser. “We wanted an event that we could bring back annually that would not only honor women, but allow us to support a cause locally that benefits Moms and their families.”

Although the HWMC 5k is a women’s only run, the Club is planning to auction off a bib number to one wicked lucky “rooster” (male) who will get to join the field and race along side of us. In addition, the winner will receive a custom t-shirt and specialized race packet and goodies. To join the fun and submit your bid, visit our facebook page.

In order to be guaranteed a t-shirt, participants must register by Thursday, April 5th. All runners are asked to arrive prepared for a 9:15 a.m. start. If registering day-of, registration begins at 8 a.m. For questions please email Martha Farrell or Ashley Hopkins at fastchicks5k@gmail.com

Is It ok to Publicly Make Fun of Someone Taking a Picture with an iPad?

A few weeks ago I saw a group line up for a picture at the Santa Monica Pier and then the picture taker reached into their bag and took a picture with an iPad. With technology getting smaller and smaller it is quite a site when someone pulls out a camera as big as a sheet of loose leaf paper and asks people to say “cheese”. I understand that the camera is intended for video chat, similar to the function on a PC, but I don’t know what to say about this. The only acceptable thing to do is stop this before this becomes an epidemic. Hasn’t the smartphone & tablet technology taken over enough of our lives? We see enough people checking their smartphones in the car. What’s next? I will flip if I see someone driving and reading a magazine on their iPad! I think there are very few things that you can call someone out publicly on. This is definitely something that I feel is perfectly ok to do and I encourage it before people get too ridiculous with their iPad and this becomes acceptable. If you see someone on the boulevard doing this please snap a picture of them and tell them that the best camera is not always the one that is with you.

Can you imagine if you saw someone pull this out at the part of the concert when people whip out their cell phones for the part of the concert that used to be meant for lighters?

Thanks – Patrick

Baby Clare Represents!

The youngest to ever hold the stickah is my Clare Ryan.  Clare is a week old and is my 3rd beautiful girl. An interesting fact is that her first public event out was Bikini Speedo Dodgeball. She is thankful for the players that shielded her from dodgeballs that flew into the crowd. From the way she held on to the stickah you can tell she already loves GMG.

I am open to any tips from mom and dads out there of 3 or more girls!

Thanks – Patrick Ryan

When the Lobster Goes Mainstream

I was in the Gap the other day and saw this t-shirt. My initial thought was this is a horrible play on  “Rock Lobster”.  I pictured the GAP Management team with their khakis and Joey C black frame glasses saying “Lobsters are so in this year, we need to tap that market”. I have an idea “How about lobsters with a guitar head and call it Rock Lobster”.

I did a little more digging and this t-shirt made it to the GAP from a contest on an indie t-shirt website called Threadless. Am I brainwashed by this being in the mainstream at the gap? If I saw in an indie store would I have said how awesome I need that?  What do people think of this?

Thanks – Patrick “post so often” Ryan

Ginger Bread Greasy Pole at the Wenham Museum

Every year I think it is a must to check out the Gingerbread House display at the Wenham Museum. Folks continue to bring it to a new level. These are my 2 favorite; the Greasy Pole and the Clam Box.

These photos are from an iPod and uploaded via Instagr.am. It is becoming my new favorite social media app and great for sharing with friends to all social networks.

Why I Am Glad I Brought My Girls to the Fishbox Derby

Having 2 daughters has clearly changed my life in so many ways. I am outnumbered in the household and watch a lot less football. I want my girls to be confident, athletic and smart. So, I get really frustrated when I see t-shirts at major retailers targeted for girls that say “I’m too pretty to do homework, so my brother does it for me” or “Alergic to Algebra”.  This is why I am so glad I was able to catch the end of the Fishbox Derby with my oldest daughter Emma. Why you ask? Check the standings!

We got there for the final runs and caught the great final runs of all the girls, including both overall winners, Ava and Alexis Wiswall. I am always trying to instill confidence in my daughters and while I am not steering them away from princesses, I drop hints that they can do anything boys can do. These girls did exactly that and won it all! Check out the bikes they won.  We walked through the pit afterwards and had a quick conversation with Ava and Alexis’s Dad -He was so proud of his two girls and we caught him taking it all in. Emma told me that she wanted to race in the Ava’s pink car and win!

Here’s to all the Fishbox Derby participants and winners, you are a part of a great tradition. Lets not also forget all the volunteers and parents that make this such a great event.

Thanks – Patrick

Catch a Minor League Baseball Game for the Price of Parking at Fenway!

I feel the need to catch at least one professional baseball game a year with the family. It now costs ~$334.78 to take a family of four to a game at Fenway. It will cost you 40 bucks just to park your car. I recently took the family out to a Lowell Spinners game and for 35 bucks got a family of 4 parked and in the stadium. We sat 15 rows behind the plate and I think I only spent another 20 on food and drink! For families with younger kids it provides an incredible value and entertainment the big leagues simply can’t match, including entertainment between innings, a kids play area & a run around the bases after the game ends. The minor league seasons are winding down, but I recommend you check out the spinners or 2 other local options. I stand behind this as a must do for North Shore residents at least once during the summer! Here are some pics that show how much fun can be had and what a great park they have there.

I really believe there should be a better located North Shore minor league team and Gloucester would be a great spot. If I had sneaker company billions, I would really try to bring my own team to Gtown. There are 2 more options for some local Baseball fun.

North Shore Navigators  – I am going to check this out next year in Lynn.  A lot of folks have visited and given the thumbs up.

Essex Baseball Club – This is where a bunch of sweaty guys put on old school baseball uniforms and play on a “Field of Dreams” setting  – Spencer Pierce Little Farm in Newbury. The best feature is the Ipswich Ale truck is there offering brews for spectators and players. You can even try the game out for yourself. Here is a shot my cousin took and he swears by it as a must do on the North shore list of things to do.

Ipswich vs. Fitchburg 1851
Thanks – Patrick Ryan

Maine Vacation Lobster Roll Roundup – Two of the Best Rolls Ever!

It is now a yearly tradition to head off to Maine for our family vacation. It is an ideal vacation spot for the kiddies; short trip and you feel like you are worlds away. Last year I reviewed 5 Lobster Rolls on a 5 day trip to Portland & Boothbay Harbor. This year we went to a less commercial area called Phippsburg. This area has 2 beaches that are in the same league as Good Harbor – Popham Beach And Reid State Park. My lobster intake on this trip disappointed my friends, only 3 rolls and a single 2 and 1/2 Pounder in 7 days. While disappointed with the numbers, I did experience 2 of the best rolls that stray a little bit from the Buttered Bun+Mayo+Lobster formula that is pounded into people’s head from this blog. Here is a round up:

5 Islands Lobster Co. – Georgetown                        This place is a close drive from Reid State Park in Georgetown. It is the quintessential Maine lobster shack that stands in front of a majestic coastal island setting. The lobster roll was no joke either. It was the first of two rolls that had no Mayo. It did have lettuce, which caused it to lose a few points, but the amount and freshness of the lobster was purely amazing. RATING: Rip that Lettuce off and give me a little bit of Mayo and you have one of the best rolls on the planet!

Check out their secret to their Lobster. Straight from the fisherman to tanks with no filters.

Reds Eats – Wiscasset 

I drove by this place last year and thought wow this place jut got lucky on location. You can’t avoid seeing Red’s Eats and the line if you are heading towards Boothbay. I took the trip this year and this place is indeed the real deal. They stuff a full pound of lobster in every roll. This is at a comparable price to other places advertising a full 1/4 lb of frozen lobster! The best tasting lobster I have ever tasted. This again strays a bit from the formula; No Mayo and they give you some melted butter.  I had overflow in my roll that was a full lobster tail. Everything ordered was awesome here. The lines are crazy here and they are brilliant for having only one cashier! RATING: This is a must visit for any Lobster Roll enthusiast. Everything about this roll rocks!

3rd Roll – Undisclosed Location

The third roll I tasted proves that even places in Maine try to stray away from the formula. I won’t mention the place, but celery and globs of mayo have no place on a Lobster Roll. RATING – When the chips on the plate are the highlight of a Lobster Roll you should probably concentrate on perfecting your Tuna or Chicken Salad!

There are a couple of other places and thing you have to try if you are ever in this part of Maine:

The Maine Maritime Museum in Bath is really a great place for all ages. We spent a whole morning there. They have a whole exhibit on the Lobster industry and it’s great.

Lears Old Fashioned Ice Cream in Wiscasset has real Lobster Ice Cream. 2 Lobsters in every 10 pints or so. It’s worth a try, but I don’t think you it will be coming to a freezer near you anytime soon.

Thanks for reading –  Patrick Ryan

Joey C or Monk?

I have yet to be to a Gloucester Block Party, but this is how Joey C showed up to the Hamilton Community Block Party. The way he was selling the outfit, it was as if he was getting referrals for each lavish robe everyone bought from Restoration Hardware. He was later seen chanting as he left the party.

North Shore Revealed – Day at the Beach in Ipswich

I remember going to Hawaii and loving the guide books called Maui Revealed. They were written by locals and the folks burnt a lot of bridges with the locals and revealed insider tips. Here is my quick and dirty insider tips guide for a day trip to the beach in Ipswich. I know many of you have the Gloucester beach sticker, but it’s always great to check out other North Shore treasures.

Here is the play if you are going to come up from Boston or from anywhere on the North Shore and hit Ipswich.

Cranes BeachOn weekends head over early. Get there between 9:30

and 10am to get in the first 5 to 10 parking rows and avoid a crazy traffic backup. Stay to the far right and head towards the sand bar. The tides are key at Cranes. The water will seem cold right at the life guard stations, but immediately take a hike to the sand bars on the right and enjoy the quieter setting. For a real treat hike around the beach to the backside of Cranes. I usually head out before the large crowds arrive. On your way out, if you have never been to the estate it is worth a walk around.  Another insider tip is to take the cheaper option and head to the beach during the week for a late afternoon swim and dinner. The weather and water are perfect, especially for the pale nation. You can even get the pizza joint, Theo’s to deliver to Cranes. I am fortunate to have The Trustees sticker, which is a great deal.

Ipswich ClambakeAfter you are done at the beach head over to Ipswich Clambake on 196 High Street (take a right off of 133 in Ipswich). It is a great fish market and place for all things seafood. The chowder is excellent and I think they have the best lobster roll on the North Shore. In all honesty I really have yet to test the other places (The Lobster Roll Call coming soon!). Simple, buttered bun and lots of very fresh Lobster.  I can’t say enough about them and the place is sparkling clean.

As you can see my Molly loves the chowder. The biggest honor a restaurant can get from my 2 year old is if she finishes their soup, drinks it and then tries to pour it over her head. 

White’s Farm – Keep heading away from Ipswich on High Street (rt 133) and you hit White’s. White’s is in the top 5 local homemade ice cream joints. Every flavor rocks and the kids can take their ice cream cone and drop it in a real sand box! The play here is to go Kiddie size even for the grown ups.

Ipswich Role Call: Too many great spots to name, but here are a few of the top spots:

Down River Ice Cream – Another great homemade Ice Cream place right past Cranes turn on 133.
Russel Orchard – An Ipswich institution and a great place to stop after Cranes.
The Clam Box – My personal favorite for fried seafood, but get there early or call for take out (insider tip)
Stone Soup – One of the top breakfast places and every dinner on their menu is great. Get the breakfast sandwich on fresh italian bread!
Riverview Pizza – One of my top ten places for pizza on the North Shore.
Choate Pub – Great local bar & great burgers!
1640 Hart House – The tavern here is a great play.
Orange Julius – Yes there is an Orange Julius at the Dairy Queen. Hello 1985 at the mall!
East End Bagels – Across the street from Orange Julius is Mitchell st. and they are down that road and a commenter below and New Yorker validates they have great bagels. I have to check them out!

Thanks for reading,

One Day Left – Best of North Shore Voting!


Here is a simple assignment for businesses in and around Gloucester. North Shore Magazine has put out there latest voting for Best of North Shore. It’s simple and I personally have looked at this guide and went to places simply becaus their patrons were loyal enough to log on and vote for them in the comments. I have personally seen it completely drive major business to a Pizza place in Salem. They put a sign stating vote for us and take major pride in their readers choice award!


Thanks – Patrick

The Northshore Dish vs Good Morning Gloucester Blog Off is ON!

About a month ago we challenged North Shore Dish to a first of its kind blog off. They accepted and we have an official date for our restaurant review – TOMORROW NIGHT AT 7:30! Here are the rules:

  • We all go out to a North Shore establishment. Joey will check his list of Groupons and pay half of the bill. The rule is that it  is a place yet to be featured on either GMG or the North Shore Dish.
  • We have a great time
  • We will both work on our own review posts and post on the same day.
  • The post with the most comments after 3 days (not views, because that is unfair) WINS!
  • Winner gets bragging rights for the best blog on the North Shore!
Since they dine secretly, we are throwing a little twist at the ladies of the dish to throw them off their game. We are offering hints as to where we are going and hoping fans pop in. It is on Cabot Street in Beverly & starts with MAN and ends with DRAKE! See you there and don’t forget to comment after the review on your favorite blog! THANKS Joey C and the FAMILY!

Favorite Picture from Twin Lights Half Marathon

My wife completed the inaugural Twin Lights Half Marathon. The rain held off and the event had a great spirit about it. I only run when chased, but it looked pretty hectic out there for the runners with all the cars on the road. Hopefully they get some approval to shut down or re-route the traffic next year for the peak period of runners. Congrats to all the runners who participated.

These folks took on 13.1 in costumes and you would think the Lobster would not be so happy to see the chef!

Twin Lights Half Marathon Gloucester MA

We Challenge you NORTH SHORE DISH to a BLOG OFF!

Lets get this Spring started with a good old fashion challenge to the ladies over at the second best blog around here, North Shore Dish. It is time to put both of our fans to the test and do a first for both of us…. An old fashioned blog off! When Joey is not picking fights with Foodies, he is eating and posting awesome pics here. Some days people read GMG and it looks like a food blog, just like the Dish, but with more frequent posts! (Yes, those are fighting words!). Here is what we do:

  • We all go out to a North Shore establishment as “secret” diners. Joey will check his list of Groupons and pay half of the bill. The rule is that it  is a place yet to be featured on either GMG or the North Shore Dish.
  • We have a great time
  • We will both work on our own review posts and post on the same day.
  • The post with the most comments after 3 days (not views, because that is unfair) WINS!
You in ladies??????


Who will win????

Thanks – Patrick Ryan


Being good friends with Joey C is always an adventure. I would say in our friendship, I am Cameron and he is Ferris Bueller (“he’ll keep calling and calling and calling”) or maybe I’m just part of his entourage. I can tell you this much, I have never came home and said “wow that was an awful time”.

Joey calls me on Wednesday and says I need to show up for a tasting at Cape Ann Brewery and then we will head over to Cape Ann TV. The “Tasting” was me crashing the Chamber of Commerce meetup. When we headed over to Cape Ann TV, we decided to have some fun. Joey wrote up his list of demands to be interviewed and I went in first and said I was his assistant. I clearly stated that as a result of all the media attention Joey has gotten, he has developed quite an ego and had a few requests:

The host Richard Sagall told me right from the start all we have at Cape Ann TV is tap water and a vending machine. I said I had to go back to the car and talk to Joey to see if he would come in. He came in and we all had a laugh, including the 3 high school interns.

Joey then put me on the stage with him. I post for him about once a month, but he called me key to the whole team. He then proceeded to crush the interview bringing that passion, honesty and a little bit of edge that makes him Joey C, his blog great and this community a better place! Richard and the interns were great sports, as he called them out for not posting their content to the internet and even tried to get some content for GMG from the high school interns. ABLC – Always Be looking for contributors! On the way out the door a lady yells to us from the Gym – “Joey do you ever Sleep!!!!”

We finished up the night with the boys from the Farm and brainstormed for the next event we want to partner up on. Crazy night? Nope, just a night out with Joey C.

Thanks for reading – Patrick R.

Is the supermarket good for the Lobster Roll?

It is spring time and that means one thing to us all of us around here – Lobster Roll season is coming. Stay tuned for great places to get good rolls in the area. Check out what I found this week. A large local super market chain is selling a lobster roll in their fish section.  The price is $4.99 and the whole thing is refrigerated (bread and all). Honestly, it looked awful and I don’t know if I saw one piece of actual lobster. I started a rant in my head that I could go on and on about the art of the roll, why do people do this to good people, and on and on. Then I thought to myself –  Is offering a low priced option for the Lobster Roll a good thing overall? Will it inspire more folks to step up their game? Add a roll to their menu? Help me see the light on this, because I really want to rant on how this supermarket should stick to selling not so fresh fish….

Thanks – Patrick Ryan